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AuthorHenry Lyons

Author Archive: Henry Lyons

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October 4, 2010

This week’s column focuses on sweet wines, in particular those made with grapes that have been infected by a fungus that is known in the wine industry as noble rot. The technical name for noble rot is Botrytis cinerea and when it infects wine grapes it dries them out which increases the concentration of sugars […]

September 20, 2010

This beautiful brute of a grape is easily the world’s most recognised, best-travelled red wine variety. It is often the backbone of many fantastic red blends, however, it has also been a significant and supportive bone within the New Zealand wine industry—let’s say the neck bone for good measure. Rumour has it that Cabernet Sauvignon […]

September 6, 2010

As the ancient saying goes, “when I think of Merlot, a few words come to mind.” This variety is one of the world’s most popular, and it is one of the principle blends in Bordeaux wine where it is the most abundant grape. In New Zealand, second to Pinot Noir, it is the most planted […]

August 9, 2010

Despite being highly elusive, early ripening and extremely sensitive to ‘terroir’ (physical environment) Pinot Noir is one of the world’s most sought-after and respected varieties. The French region of Burgundy is the spiritual home of Pinot Noir, and a top-quality bottle demands a top price. An Auckland retailer currently has a bottle of 1996 Domaine […]

July 12, 2010

I’m breaking away from the bi-weekly varietal insight this week to focus on a relatively new and fascinating phenomenon—the increased involvement of the humble sheep in vineyard work. Normally when you think sheep and wine you think nice meal, however, in recent years the acclaimed combination have been getting together before they end up on […]

May 24, 2010

This week we take a look at the relatively unheard-of Pinot Blanc, a white wine varietal that is a genetic mutation of Pinot Noir. When vine yields are kept low, Pinot Blanc produces stunning no-frills wines that are very approachable, and this week’s wine of the week is a textbook example. Remember when it comes […]

May 10, 2010

In this week’s column we head back down the aromatics road and take a look at one of the most pungent yet under -rated varietals—Gewürztraminer (Ge-vertz-tram-in-er), which is commonly known as Gewürz (Ge-vertz). Despite gaining notoriety via France, Gewürztraminer has its origins in the German-speaking area of northern Italy, Alto Adige, hence its mouthful of […]

April 26, 2010

This week we’ll peel back the covers and focus on one of the world’s most intriguing and widely planted varieties—chardonnay. This variety epitomises the globalisation of wine and is regarded as a rite of passage into the international wine market by many new world producers. Chardonnay grapes have a green skin and relatively neutral flavours […]

March 29, 2010

This week’s column will focus on one of the greatest varieties of all time—Viognier (pronounced vee-on-yay). Viognier, like Riesling and Pinot Gris, is an aromatic variety that is well-known for its floral aromas and rich texture which make it an excellent wine to drink with food. The history of Viognier remains shrouded in a thick, […]

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